Last week a faithful reader suggested that I provide a "disclaimer" with my season record whenever I offer these weekly picks. I think that’s a fair request, but the losses are too high for me to count without a calculator. I know I went 1-5 last week. And I’m fairly certain my season total contains a very little number in the win column and a much bigger number in the loss column. But remember, these picks are for entertainment purposes only. If I had better info than anyone else, I’d probably be working for FanDuel or DraftKings. Am I right?
Enough small talk. Let’s get to the picks for this week’s ACC games.
The Virginia Game
Virginia is a 10.5-point underdog on the road at Pittsburgh
I don’t think Virginia’s going to win, even though I pegged this game as a "must-win" early in the season. Pitt has pleasantly surprised so far and its defensive line put on a clinic against Virginia Tech last week. Pitt seems well-coached, and Virginia…well…Virginia is coached by Mike London. Still, I don’t see the Wahoos getting blown out here. The overall talent level should favor the Wahoos, and Virginia has had 2 weeks to stew over the Boise State loss. I think UVA will cover the spread in a 7-point loss.
#6 Clemson is a 7-point favorite at home against Georgia Tech
#12 Florida State is a 9-point favorite at home against Miami
Clemson and FSU are on a collision course towards their 11/7 showdown in Death Valley. But both teams face potential trap games this weekend. The Tigers could come out a little flat after their emotional win over Notre Dame. If that happens, Georgia Tech could rack up some early points and force Clemson to play from behind. I think the Tigers win, but I’m picking the Jackets to cover. Meanwhile, Florida State is the only opponent Miami won’t have trouble getting ready to play. It’s unclear whether FSU running back Dalvin Cook will be available after getting injured against Wake Forest. I think Miami will keep it close enough to cover.
The Other Conference Games
Virginia Tech (even) hosts NC State
Boston College is a 7.5-point favorite against Wake Forest
Virginia Tech looked dreadful last week against Pitt, but NC State looked pretty uninspired against Louisville. The Friday night atmosphere at Lane Stadium should give the Hokies a nice boost, but it won’t matter if their offensive line can’t block better. I’m going to take a flyer on NC State here and pick them to get the road upset. Boston College, meanwhile, should get the win over Wake Forest. But the Eagles have only scored 7 points this year in two games against FBS opponents. I think Wake will keep it close enough to get the cover on the road.
Syracuse is a 3-point underdog against South Florida
Duke is a 12-point favorite against Army
I might be overly optimistic about Syracuse, but I like the Orange to pick up the win on the road. South Florida hasn’t beaten an FBS opponent all season, and the ‘Cuse has a little momentum after a close home loss to LSU. Finally, I think Duke takes care of business and covers against Army at West Point. The Black Knights almost upset Penn State last week, but that’s not saying much these days. David Cutcliffe has made a living winning these early-season games with the Blue Devils.
No Matter Who You Pick
We hope you'll participate in our ACC Pick 'Em contest on Yahoo! Sports. Head over to Yahoo! to check out full standings and submit your entry. "UVA Geek" continues to lead the field with an impressive 36-12 record, but "We suck. Wahoowa" is only one game behind. It's not too late to sign up! Go to Yahoo! and enter in the group ID 7558, with the password "tohomerandback". Good luck!